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"Strange" worn-out spoke holes: safe to reuse (relace) hub?

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"Strange" worn-out spoke holes: safe to reuse (relace) hub?

Old 06-10-19, 12:51 PM
  #1  
ryoanji
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"Strange" worn-out spoke holes: safe to reuse (relace) hub?

I picked up this hub on e*ay recently. The pictures were bad and I didn't realize how badly worn were spoke holes on flanges. I am not quite sure what happened here: was spoke tension too high? or front wheel got stressed too much somehow? Moreover, it appears that the hub was relaced in the same pattern at least 4 times, as *each* hole is "elongated" both inside and outside.

Anyway, would you say this hub is safe to reuse / relace? I have never seen hub fail due to spokes "ripping" holes, but I haven't seen a hub like that either. What would collective wisdom of BikeForums say?


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Old 06-10-19, 01:24 PM
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If I already had it, I'd use it if the lacing pattern was to be the same. My caveats are: I wouldn't put it on a bike I intended to immediately sell. And if I didn't already have it, I would have bought a new one instead.
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Old 06-10-19, 01:27 PM
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It's fine. The holes themselves are still round. The wear is where the spoke elbows seated into the countersink.However, your observation that they have been built up more than once is correct I believe given that all the holes have grooves that radiate the same way. Still not something I would be concerned about as long as it's laced 3 cross.

Last edited by Dan Burkhart; 06-10-19 at 01:31 PM.
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Old 06-10-19, 09:37 PM
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Get a 1/4" x 90* chamfer tool from a tool supply house, or a machinst friend. Spin the tool by hand and re-cut the chamfers. I just did that to a 35 yo Helicomatic hub and then laced/trued the wheel. Worked like a champ. I'm lucky in that I work in a machine shop and have access to that kind of tooling. I'd use those hubs in a heart beat and never look back. You DO know that the spoke bend goes in the chamfer and not the spoke head, right?
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Old 06-11-19, 07:46 AM
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Thanks, Iride01 Dan and Jon, for informative replies. I also chatted quickly wiht DT Swiss tech support person. He is guessing that wheel was "repeatedly" (?) built with insufficient tension. That is why, spoke had too much "freedom" with two ill effects: firstly, it worn out the holes, and secondly, spokes were failing prematurely. His advice was to get a new hub

Actually, Jon, I might have an access to machinist to do the chamfering you advice. Let me check with my friend, if so I will probably reaching out to you with more details on how to do it!

Thanks again.
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Old 06-11-19, 10:02 AM
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Did anyone notice* that all of the grooves, supposedly worn by spoke wear, GO IN THE SAME DIRECTION, with NO ALTERNATION? I kind of would have expected every other hole to be in the same direction by spoke wear, with the holes in-between having no directional groove because they had the spoke head, with a similar pattern on the opposite face of each flange. These flanges show directional wear at every hole indicating that they've been relaced. And the relacing was indeed done with inadequate tension as the wear is seen around the entire circumference of each spoke hole, indicating loose spokes.

While the DT Swiss people are pretty much constrained to telling you to get a new hub (telling you that the hub is ok leaves them open to liability), I'd agree with the DT Swiss recommendation. I would not use that hub. Too much material loss. No idea of the fatigue effects of the obvious stress/strain reversal from loose spokes. Its the front hub, and you're applying the torque of braking through the spoke holes on the hub. Not for me.

If you want to ignore this advise, I would NOT chamfer, as this removes material from the entire hole and not just the portion raised by the spoke and weakens the hub and is unnecessary. Heck, the loose spokes have already chamfered those holes for you: why duplicate the job? If you want to smooth the hole and reduce stress risers, there's a technique that hole-drillers use in race cars and such. Also good for drilled holes in chainrings etc. Put a bar of steel in a vise, firmly. should be about 1/2 inch or 1cm wide. Must protrude, so that you can put the hub rim on it. Take two ball bearings about 2 times the size of the hole. Put the one bearing under the hole and set a hole in the hub on top of it. Put another bearing on top of the hole. Tap the top bearing with a hammer so that you knock down the ridge. Easy does it! If you don't have confidence in your sense of touch, don't do this. Repeat for each hole on both sides of both the outside and (more difficult) the inside of each hole.

As you know, if you do use this hub, its' obvious that you can't use radial spoking (you've a disc brake). I wouldn't use 2 cross spoking either. I'd prefer to sue 4 cross (tangential) but might settle for 3 cross. 4 cross will give you less likelihood of spokes ripping out the hub flange. And use a spoke tension meter when relacing.

I wouldn't risk it. But I've had the pleasure of going over the bars and breaking my jaw and cracking 13 teeth. Conserving a hub is not worth risking my neck, jaw, or teeth.

*On edit, Dan Burkhart noticed.

Last edited by WizardOfBoz; 06-11-19 at 12:22 PM.
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Old 06-11-19, 11:41 AM
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Ryoanji,
Here is what over-tension can do for a hub. The aluminium in a small hub sometimes is just not strong enough for the abuse some riders create. Note the elongation of the spoke holes in the direction of the tension, and the way the hub is distorted into a squared pattern. Smiles, MH
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Old 06-11-19, 12:20 PM
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Criminal abuse of a Campy short-flange hub, Honk. Interesting.
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Old 06-11-19, 12:36 PM
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Originally Posted by WizardOfBoz View Post
Did anyone notice* that all of the grooves, supposedly worn by spoke wear, GO IN THE SAME DIRECTION, with NO ALTERNATION? I kind of would have expected every other hole to be in the same direction by spoke wear, with the holes in-between having no directional groove because they had the spoke head, with a similar pattern on the opposite face of each flange. These flanges show directional wear at every hole indicating that they've been relaced. And the relacing was indeed done with inadequate tension as the wear is seen around the entire circumference of each spoke hole, indicating loose spokes.

While the DT Swiss people are pretty much constrained to telling you to get a new hub (telling you that the hub is ok leaves them open to liability), I'd agree with the DT Swiss recommendation. I would not use that hub. Too much material loss. No idea of the fatigue effects of the obvious stress/strain reversal from loose spokes. Its the front hub, and you're applying the torque of braking through the spoke holes on the hub. Not for me.

If you want to ignore this advise, I would NOT chamfer, as this removes material from the entire hole and not just the portion raised by the spoke and weakens the hub and is unnecessary. Heck, the loose spokes have already chamfered those holes for you: why duplicate the job? If you want to smooth the hole and reduce stress risers, there's a technique that hole-drillers use in race cars and such. Also good for drilled holes in chainrings etc. Put a bar of steel in a vise, firmly. should be about 1/2 inch or 1cm wide. Must protrude, so that you can put the hub rim on it. Take two ball bearings about 2 times the size of the hole. Put the one bearing under the hole and set a hole in the hub on top of it. Put another bearing on top of the hole. Tap the top bearing with a hammer so that you knock down the ridge. Easy does it! If you don't have confidence in your sense of touch, don't do this. Repeat for each hole on both sides of both the outside and (more difficult) the inside of each hole.

As you know, if you do use this hub, its' obvious that you can't use radial spoking (you've a disc brake). I wouldn't use 2 cross spoking either. I'd prefer to sue 4 cross (tangential) but might settle for 3 cross. 4 cross will give you less likelihood of spokes ripping out the hub flange. And use a spoke tension meter when relacing.

I wouldn't risk it. But I've had the pleasure of going over the bars and breaking my jaw and cracking 13 teeth. Conserving a hub is not worth risking my neck, jaw, or teeth.

*On edit, Dan Burkhart noticed.
They all radiate the same direction because on subsequent lacings, the builder stayed with the same pattern, leading spokes heads in, but moved over one hole.
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Old 06-11-19, 12:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Dan Burkhart View Post
They all radiate the same direction because on subsequent lacings, the builder stayed with the same pattern, leading spokes heads in, but moved over one hole.

Got it. And they used used the same loose "chamfer as you ride" spoke tension. I just wonder how they got the wear so even between the two different lacings.

Last edited by WizardOfBoz; 06-18-19 at 09:05 AM.
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Old 06-11-19, 02:44 PM
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Wiz,
I suspect that was a hub on a BMX racing bike. Ride about thirty race laps and put a flat spot in the rim, re-lace with a new rim. Then repeat the process four or five times and that is what the spoke holes will look like. It is likely a useable hub, but I wouldn't be racing on it. For a beater bike it will work fine and that is my advice to Ryoanji.
That Campy hub has been laying around for a few years. I just threw a tippo hub out two weeks ago that suffered the same fate. A stiff build, and some rough riding and all the hubs can fail like that. Smiles, MH
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Old 06-11-19, 10:28 PM
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That Campy hub wasn't helped by relacing it multiple ways over the years!
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Old 06-17-19, 06:48 AM
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Thanks!

Thank you, again, everybody. Very useful discussion. I wish I wouldn't have bought this hub in the first place, but now I have it, I see I can still use it for backup wheelset maybe. It is a nice dt swiss hub, too bad it got mangled up so bad.
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Old 06-18-19, 09:08 AM
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If its any comfort, Dan Burkhart knows a LOT more about hubs than I do, so you may have a pretty good hub for backup purposes. So you may want to weight what he says over what I say. But again, I would NOT chamfer. And make sure that your spoke alignment is the same as what the previous owner used. Good luck.
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Old 06-18-19, 06:09 PM
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
That Campy hub wasn't helped by relacing it multiple ways over the years!
Scott,
The Campi hub I pictured was damaged more by over-tensioning than multiple re-lacings. It shows signs of a Jobst Brandt lacing and a lacing based on drive flex that I use often. But nothing more than possibly three total lacings. The chamfered sections of the flanges are only slightly deformed of the button side of the spokes in the pics it is pretty clear.
As for the DA hub pictured from the OP it is clear there were multiple re-lacings. Smiles, MH
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Old 06-18-19, 07:02 PM
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I'd use it with proper spoke tension and laced cross 3 only (cross 4 isn't recommended on a 32 spoke wheel).
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Old 06-18-19, 08:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Reynolds View Post
I'd use it with proper spoke tension and laced cross 3 only (cross 4 isn't recommended on a 32 spoke wheel).
Ah, learn something every day. I'm doing two 36 holers in 4 cross to duplicate the OEM lacing. But my next project will be to lace up some short-flange campy hubs to modern 700c rims. Those, I'll be doing 3-cross.
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Old 06-18-19, 08:51 PM
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Originally Posted by WizardOfBoz View Post
Did anyone notice* that all of the grooves, supposedly worn by spoke wear, GO IN THE SAME DIRECTION, with NO ALTERNATION?
I found that odd too.
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Old 06-20-19, 07:18 PM
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Wiz,
I am currently rebuilding all of my race bikes from the 1980's. They were all in storage when a fire occurred, suspicious at best, but about $11,000 in damages. All are in process of powder coating, and finding decal sets to restore them. All were race wheels: Campi high flange hubs and GP 4 rims and Vitoria tyres. The rims are all in need of replacement as well as spokes from the heat damage. But they were 3X patterns except for one special 3X by radial on a drive wheel for my Ochsner. If I was doing any touring, it would definitely be four cross patterns for those wheels. The 4X deals with loads better than the 3X (more appropriate for race type wheels). JMHO, MH
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Old 06-22-19, 12:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Mad Honk View Post
Wiz,
I am currently rebuilding all of my race bikes from the 1980's. They were all in storage when a fire occurred, suspicious at best, but about $11,000 in damages. All are in process of powder coating, and finding decal sets to restore them. All were race wheels: Campi high flange hubs and GP 4 rims and Vitoria tyres. The rims are all in need of replacement as well as spokes from the heat damage. But they were 3X patterns except for one special 3X by radial on a drive wheel for my Ochsner. If I was doing any touring, it would definitely be four cross patterns for those wheels. The 4X deals with loads better than the 3X (more appropriate for race type wheels). JMHO, MH
Wow, sorry to hear about the damage. Just a bit of old school info. Falerio Masi specified all his house built bikes have 36h 4x wheels, even here in the US.
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Old 06-22-19, 05:11 PM
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The four cross wheels deal with problems far better than any other pattern! Smiles, MH
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Old 06-22-19, 05:29 PM
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Don't you just hate it when ebay sellers post up crappy photos? In the case of this hub the bad photos were most likely to conceal the true condition of the hub. I'd send the thing back even if it cost me money to do so. Life's too short to waste time building a wheel with a POS worn out hub.
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